Is Tesos Express the best example yet of cheeky local retailers tweaking the tails of national and multinational behemoths — and will they get away with it?
Legal Cheek has highlighted several potential copyright infringements in the past — readers will fondly remember classics such as ‘Michaelsoft Binbows’, ‘Pizza Inn’. And who can forget Bolton takeaway ‘McIndian’.
But now step forward this gem provided by the good folk at Tesos Express. According to Twitter chat, the shop is based in the south-west London borough of Kingston upon Thames, with the owners appearing to adopt a if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them-ish approach.
Indeed, they may have been hoping that as the large supermarket chain is gearing up to defend a massive law suit relating to its overstatement of profits last year, its in-house legal team might be too busy to notice.
A Google maps image (below), dated June 2014, appeared to show the sign covered up. However, Legal Cheek has discovered tweets from as recently as March of this year showing it still in place.
But as one leading specialist lawyer pointed out, if the sign is still on display, the shopkeepers had better start thinking about taking some advice.
“Major brands aren’t continuously patrolling Britain’s high streets for knock-offs,” DAC Beachcroft partner Robin Fry told Legal Cheek.
“But they inevitably pick up on any copying as laughable as this and they will treat it seriously. Like changing one word in a song lyric, missing out one letter here doesn’t save the opportunist shop owner — there’s clearly both trade mark infringement and passing off here. They’ll be ordering a new sign presently.”
Images via Google Maps and @chrisscholars